After you pull into the driveway on Friday, generally the last thing you want to think about is work, but for some of you, that doesn’t seem to be an option. Some people are just so busy and flooded with work that they can’t seem to find time on the weekends to recharge, but this is a never-ending cycle; a study from Stanford University revealed that productivity drops dramatically when a workweek exceeds 50 hours, and after 55 hours, productivity basically falls off the map.
What that means is that those of you who bring your work home with you on the weekends aren’t doing yourselves any favors; if you want to maximize productivity during the week, put zero effort into your career on the weekends. That may seem backwards, but if you’re working all weekend, you’re not recharging and you’re going to feel exhausted the entire coming week, meaning you won’t be very productive.
To ensure you’re fresh when Monday arrives, here are 5 things you can do on weekends to maximize productivity at work.
1. Leave Work At The Office
If you can’t manage to follow any other tips on this list, at least follow this one.
If you really want to be ready to tackle the coming week on Monday, you’ll need to keep your mind off of work during the weekend. Turn off your work phone, and don’t check your work email; if you never let yourself free from work, you won’t be able release stress from the previous week and you’ll feel drained come Monday, and feel even worse on Tuesday.
If you have to check your phone or email to ensure the company is still functioning, go ahead and do so, but limit your exposure to work to 15-minute segments; you can still be available over weekends, but it’s important to limit exposure to the stress that work brings. Remember that the week ended; do something fun, or take a nap.
2. Plan For Next Week
If you want to maximize your productivity at work during the week, you’ll need to have a game plan; if you arrive at work on Monday without a plan, you’ll spend hours trying to figure out what you’re going to tackle that week, which isn’t the goal here. To help you settle into the week and ensure you’re able to get to work right off the bat, reflect on the weekend and develop a strategy for how you’re going to approach the coming week.
Create a to-do list for the things that need attention during the coming week, and prioritize the list; some tasks can be delegated or done later, so focus on tasks that need immediate completion. When you come to work on Monday with your tasks and objectives all sorted out, you’ll be able to get right to work. Better yet, use a mobile friendly task tracking software like KissIQ. Or if you prefer to use Excel, check out the video and template below.
When creating this list, don’t take more than half an hour, as you want to limit your exposure to work, but taking some time to reflect on the past week and think about next week is a great way to find solutions to problems you may be facing at work. You’ll also feel more relaxed on Monday, as you know all the things you need to do that week, and there won’t be any surprises on Friday at 4:58 pm.
It’s scary to drive in thick fog, but you can rest easy when you able to see everything around you; if plan for the next week, you’ll feel less stressed and your productivity will increase.
3. Do Something Distracting
While you do want to take some time to plan for next week, you should only do that for half an hour or so; take the rest of the weekend to hangout with family, find a hobby, do something fun. When you take time to do something with your loved ones (even by yourself), you’ll be more energized and relaxed when Monday arrives and you have to go back to the grind.
With your busy work week it’s not likely that you were able to spend much time with your family, so spend as much time with them over the weekend as you can, and they’ll serve as a welcome distraction from work. If you don’t give yourself time to just chill and recharge your batteries, you’ll just end up in a never-ending cycle of being tired and unproductive seven days a week.
Even picking up a hobby or finding some side gig that is your true passion will help you be more productive at work; it serves as a healthy distraction from your job, and you might even find the solution to a problem you’ve been facing at work, all because you exposed yourself to something new or different, which that led to new ways of thinking. Something simple like listening to music, reading, or watching a movie can be incredibly inspiring, even for the most random of reasons, but it’s those moments that lead to a brilliant idea or solution, so give yourself the opportunity to relax and do anything not work-related.
4. Quiet Time To Yourself
If you have a family, getting some time to yourself where you can just relax, think, and enjoy the silence can really benefit your career. It’s best to take this time during the morning, as your brain performs best in the first few hours after waking, and you’ll notice that you’re happier after you have some alone time.
The point of having some time to yourself in the mornings is so you can think about any long-term career objectives or goals you have, as well as just putting your thoughts down on paper. Writing down the things that pop into your head helps you focus on things that are most important, so you’re not constantly being distracted by your rambling mind; if you do this on the weekends, you’ll waste less time at work day dreaming.
Allowing yourself some time to think and regroup helps you get a different perspective on things that are on your mind; while sipping your first cup of coffee you might discover a brilliant idea for your business!
5. Go Outside
If you ever find your mind log-jammed and you’re just not being very productive, go outside; exercise, go for a walk, or do some chores. These kinds of activities help you release stress and sort of ‘refresh’ your brain; in fact, your brain works at it’s best after you’ve exercised.
If there’s an activity that you enjoy, do it on the weekends if you don’t have time during the week; this activity will free your mind, and you’ll be surprised at how often these activities will inspire you and help you think.
Being successful in the workplace takes a lot of effort, but there are a lot of simple things you can do to advance your career and improve yourself, among are which these five productivity tips you can apply to your weekend. If you stay consistent with these practices you’ll start to see increases in your productivity, you won’t feel stressed out, and you’ll enjoy your job, which is something that a lot of us seem to forget.